$2.7 billion in TARP money went to British Rum maker

$2.7 billion in TARP money went to British Rum maker

Yep. We taxpayers now have “a little Captain in all of us.” Too bad it’s because our tax dollars went to the rum distiller who makes Captain Morgan rum.

Via Crooks and Liars we get the not surprising news that the $750 billion we shelled out in TARP to save American banks ended up lining the pockets of just about everyone else except our troubled financial institutions.

With that much free money floating around, it was bound to happen. Any idiot could have predicted it – which makes Paulson, Bush, Geithner, and Obama certifiable loons if they didn’t see this coming.

Ryan Donmoyer of Bloomberg has the incredible details:

In June 2008, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John deJongh Jr. agreed to give London-based Diageo Plc billions of dollars in tax incentives to move its production of Captain Morgan rum from one U.S. island — Puerto Rico — to another, namely St. Croix. DeJongh says he had no idea his deal would help make the world’s largest liquor distiller the most unlikely beneficiary of the emergency Troubled Asset Relief Program approved by Congress just four months later.

Today, as two 56-foot-high (17-meter-high) tanks for holding fermenting molasses will soon rise from the ground on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, the extent to which dozens of nonbank companies benefited from last October’s emergency financial rescue plan is just beginning to come to light.

The hurried legislation adopted by a Congress voting under the threat of sudden global economic collapse led to hidden tax breaks for firms in dozens of industries. They included builders of Nascar auto-racing tracks, restaurant chains such as Burger King Holdings Inc., movie and television producers — and London’s Diageo.

“It’s kind of like the magician’s sleight of hand,” says former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William Thomas, a California Republican who ran the committee from 2001 to 2007 and oversaw all tax legislation. “They snuck these things in a bill that was focused on other things.”

And this is the tip of the iceberg. Anyone know where the stimulus money is really going? How about the trillions the Federal Reserve has paid out to keep banks in the business of lending short term to corporations so they could pay their employees (supposedly)?

The problem with truly eyepopping amounts of money – besides the fact that it adds to the deficit and the long term debt – is that it is virtually impossible to keep track of. Untold billions – perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars – has been handed out to people and companies who don’t deserve it and had no business getting it in the first place.

It’s like piling up stacks and stacks of hundred dollar bills – perhaps several dozen stories high – and just lighting a match to it.

Oh well, not to worry. There’s more where that came from. The generosity of us taxpayers will see to that – or at least, the generosity of Obama and the Democrats who don’t believe your money is yours anyway. They think it is the government’s money and that it is their decision just how much of your money you get to keep rather than you deciding how much the government gets.

Next time you have a Mojito or a Cuba libra, remember: Your tax dollars are helping the world get sloshed.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/27_billion_in_tarp_money_went.html at June 29, 2009 – 12:38:23 PM EDT

Is Obama losing his political magic?

Is Obama losing his political magic?

Rick Moran
Byron York, writing in the New York Post , believes that if Obama’s health care bill fails to pass, he will be seen as just another politician and will have lost his “MoJo:”

If the public turns on Obama, it won’t be out of animus to him personally. People will always think him smart and charismatic — for the simple reason that he is. Nor are they ever likely to conclude that’s he’s a radical or cynic. His affect is too reasonable for the first and too earnest for the second.

No, the danger is that the public will conclude that he’s “a nice young man” — talented and well-meaning, but ineffectual and a little naive.

The fight over health care will be telling. Once again, people are being asked to believe that a trillion dollars in new spending is fiscally prudent. Once again, they’re being asked to believe that the government can manage an enormous, complex enterprise — even more so than the auto companies. Once again, they’re being asked by their audaciously ambitious, supremely self-confident president to suspend their disbelief.

If the public doesn’t go along this time, the Obama phenomenon will have experienced the end of its heroic period.

Obama will have failed to achieve a goal he defined as of paramount importance. His accomplishments will look small compared to the vast accumulation of new debt — especially if a rising unemployment rate continues to discredit the stimulus.

York is probably correct except there’s little chance some kind of health care bill won’t become a reality. The only chance it will be defeated is if liberals join with Republicans to defeat it – not impossible but very unlikely. This means there will also be some kind of “public option” since this is what the liberals are demanding at a minimum.

Obama too, wants a public option and will use the considerable power of his office to make sure it’s in the final bill. Even weak presidents know how to use the handles and levers of power against Congress if they step out of line. And given the outright thuggery the Obama administration has used elsewhere, it stands to reason they will not hesitate to threaten recalcitrant congressmen if they don’t toe the line on the public option.

But York, writing in the New York Post, is correct in his analysis – which is why the administration will fight tooth and nail to get something passed this year.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/is_obama_losing_his_political.html at June 29, 2009 – 12:31:29 PM EDT